Week 1 Over

First week is over. What a relief. That first couple days of getting settled in, realizing my Chinese wasn’t as good as what I thought, and dealing with the hassles inherent in moving somewhere foreign are finally over. And you know what? I’m glad to be moving forward.

I’m about the only American in my program. I’ve seen white people running around every now and then and yelled out to them only to have a foreign English accent respond. Consequently, I’ve made friends with people from all over the world: Cameroon, Belgium, Spain, Denmark, Korea, Japan, China, Germany, etc.

Girl looking just right before taking her picture at Forbidden City

What an amazing opportunity for me to experience the beauty of this world and life through becoming friends with people of completely different nationalities and cultures. It’s amazing to me just how marvelous this life is and how similar we all are to each other all over the world.

Before I became friends with so many, I took the opportunity to sightsee. I saw Mao’s resting place. I saw Tiananmen Square where so much history has taken place. I saw many more things. But then I got to focus more on school activities.

We had opening ceremonies and get to know each other games Friday

Split up into teams for games

. Everyone had the deer in the headlight look. Everyone. So, we set about getting to know each other using the most common language available: English with a dash (if that) of Chinese.

But now, the real fun begins. The tests are in. The results are back. Textbooks are bought. Classes begin 8 a.m. tomorrow. Four months from now, our Chinese should be much better. Friendships will have deepened and important experiences gained.

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